What is Japanese Acupuncture

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Connecting Children and Community Through Diversity, Dance and Dialogue

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“Your BollyFit presentations at Mark Twain School for Literary Scholars were simply magnificent. Our students are very fortunate to be exposed to such diversity and because of the generosity of your time and talents; you have most certainly augmented our knowledge here at Mark Twain.

 

 

Through your presentations, our students have learned enriching aspects of culture from India. They’ve been exposed to a great deal of knowledge about Indian dance. Students also learned the importance of keeping mind and body healthy in a fun way. You certainly ignited interest in students regarding the importance of physical and mental health and how physical exercise can be helpful in discarding negative thoughts and attitudes.

 

 

Mark Twain students showed interest and enjoyed themselves because they were engaged. Your easy BollyFit dance moves taught our students that one does not have to be perfect to dance. They felt a sense of confidence and joy in dancing with you. Thank you for bringing joy to our children!

 

 

We thank you again for your time, energy and expertise and welcome you to return on any occasion which is convenient for you.  You are doing great things by touching the lives of our children.”

 

 

–Mumtaz Haque, an Administrator at Mark Twain School for                                                                                                                                    Literary Scholars in Detroit

 

 

Anuja visited the Mark Twain School for Literary Scholars in Detroit for an educational and fun event! Students from kindergarten to eighth grade engaged in learning about health choices and activity and bridging cultural connections between their home and the sub-continent of India. Over 200 students Bollyfitted with Anuja and engaged in conversations about healthy choices, similarities and differences between peopel around the world and much more! Anuja and our entire team are energized to revisit this school and see how they have put into action everything they learned! 

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Customizing your traditions

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Read below for Anuja’s December 2013 column in the Ann. The Ann is the informative, critical, and inspiring magazine distributed monthly in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and annarbor.com.  

 

 

Customizing your traditions

 

 

 
“Let’s get the biggest tree!” my sisters and I pressured our parents as we piled into the custom cruiser station wagon en route to the parking-lot-turned-tree-farm at Meijers.

This symbol of the season shed its needles yearly from Thanksgiving through March in our home, so attached were we to the scent and sprouting of joy it showered on our family. Included in the time of the tree were meals, music, memories, presents and presence that gaily surpassed some of our church-going friends, for in our home during those years, Christmas trumped even Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, as my parents proudly assimilated and embraced local traditions that escaped religious boundaries.
Alas, on the 12th day after Christmas one year, an automobile accident transcended the soul of my 27-year-old middle sister beyond the form of her body. With that thud, the twinkling of the tree receded to muffled memories. Although no formal conversation was had, Christmas ceased to be celebrated, so close was Dec. 25to the anniversary of the accident that anguished us so.
The pitter-patter of new generations often turns over somber soil, and so the emergence on earth of my new nephews and niece renewed our dormant desire for joy. What to do as rejoicing around Christmastime basically still felt blasphemous? Luckily hedged between two cultures we found an out in Diwali – conveniently celebrated further from the anniversary than Christmas. It felt like coming home and was elevated to the fanfare due to most favored holiday.
Even in my nuclear family we numbed Christmas cheer for years, and I was personally relieved to avail from shopping and socializing like a crazy person in December. My kids seemed to understand.
Then one day I read on my computer screen what felt like a calling: “Free monogramming and shipping on scarlet stockings trimmed with white!” Pottery Barn seemed to summon me. I didn’t have to leave the house. Free monogramming AND shipping does not happen very often. When they were hung for the first time last year my kids squealed with joy at the symbolism and set off a domino effect. I smiled to my husband, “Let’s get a tree!”
“The biggest tree, oh glory be, that can fit into the room!” I sang to my kids after 12 years dry of décor as we piled into our crumb-crusted crossover car. First stop: Costco, where the price was right but that night the lights just felt too bright in the big box store. I wanted my kids’ first experience to be intimate and cozy. So we turned the car and headed for more pricey, but locally owned, The Produce Station. The service and selection were impeccable, so we expanded our budget and added a stand and the most expensive wreaths we could afford.
The next day in my first retail venture into seasonal shopping in years, I found myself again at Pottery Barn, this time at Briarwood Mall, and justified a lush tree skirt and fancy stocking holders.
Like all of us who have had loved ones transition, we still remember. Yet time, presence, perspective and sometimes what feels like a lack of choice as the world seems to move on nonetheless, can heal parts of grief. When the time feels right, and it is different for everyone, we touch and traverse traditions thoughtfully, though not necessarily in the same way.
This year, we were all set to synergize festivals of lights with a big Diwali and Christmas. I was even excited to embrace traditions of new and familiar friends who celebrate Eid, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, etc. How incredibly magical is it that so many cultures and religions illuminate this time of year? I told my kids.
Well, the soul of my grandmother soared at age 99 on my own birthday this year, which also fell two days before Diwali. As our tradition goes and our hearts unwaveringly followed, we passed on Diwali dancing during those days. My husband, children and I all feel so grateful for Christmas, which falls further from the date.